“[I] threw open the door to find Rob sitting on the low stool in front of my bookcase, surrounded by cardboard boxes. He was sealing the last one up with tape and string. There were eight boxes - eight boxes of my books bound up and ready for the basement!
"He looked up and said, 'Hello, darling. Don't mind the mess, the caretaker said he'd help me carry these down to the basement.' He nodded towards my bookshelves and said, 'Don't they look wonderful?'
"Well, there were no words! I was too appalled to speak. Sidney, every single shelf - where my books had stood - was filled with athletic trophies: silver cups, gold cups, blue rosettes, red ribbons. There were awards for every game that could possibly be played with a wooden object: cricket bats, squash racquets, tennis racquets, oars, golf clubs, ping-pong bats, bows and arrows, snooker cues, lacrosse sticks, hockey sticks and polo mallets. There were statues for everything a man could jump over, either by himself or on a horse. Next came the framed certificates - for shooting the most birds on such and such a date, for First Place in running races, for Last Man Standing in some filthy tug of war against Scotland.
"All I could do was scream, 'How dare you! What have you DONE?! Put my books back!'
"Well, that's how it started. Eventually, I said something to the effect that I could never marry a man whose idea of bliss was to strike out at little balls and little birds. Rob countered with remarks about damned bluestockings and shrews. And it all degenerated from there - the only thought we probably had in common was, What the hell have we talked about for the last four months? What, indeed? He huffed and puffed and snorted and left. And I unpacked my books.”